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New training college opens
THOUSANDS of young people are set to get the building blocks for successful careers thanks to a new specialist training facility that has opened in Southampton.
The £500,000 ATL Training College in Burgoyne Road, Thornhill, expects to see more than 5,000 students pass through its doors in the first year alone, learning trades in building services and engineering.
Run by Apprenticeship Training Ltd (ATL), the centre is modelled on colleges in western Europe and offers courses in plumbing, electrics, gas installation, welding, building controls, renewable technology and general construction.
The college, in the former Hightown Secondary School site, has been refurbished to include workshops, classrooms, exam suites and catering facilities.
ATL managing director Nick Hayward said: “In the UK there is a shortage for these skills at present and the gap will grow as many workers reach retirement age.
“With university fees rising I would encourage youngsters to think about the opportunities an apprenticeship could bring, including the prospect of a career for life at the end of their course.”
The new centre will also offer job opportunities for the community.
Adrian Russell, 53, of Lydgate Road, Thornhill, found work two days after walking in off the street to ask what was going on when he saw someone working on the site.
He had been unemployed for nine months after completing a course at the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for disabled people, but now has a role including maintenance, cleaning and stock control.
Mr Russell said: “The money is better than average and I’m looking to stay here until my working life finishes.”